Despite a lot of interest in him as a head coaching candidate, Ben Johnson has told those teams he’s staying on as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator.
Detroit Lions fans, rejoice!
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has gotten ample interest as a head coaching candidate, with his third scheduled interview slated to come with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday. Or should I say, that interview was slated for Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Johnson has told interested teams he’s staying with the Lions. Lions beat writers have subsequently confirmed the news.
"Johnson was slated to travel Wednesday to interview with the #Panthers. But he feels Detroit is building something special and wants to see it through,” “Should be a hot HC name again next year."
In his first year as Lions’ offensive coordinator, and his first year as a coordinator and play caller anywhere, Johnson helped quarterback Jared Goff to one of the best seasons of his career. Detroit also had a top-five offense in total yardage and scoring.
Head coaching buzz around Ben Johnson only being postponed, most likely
There’s something to be said for “striking while the iron’s hot.” Johnson would not have been wrong, despite protests from Lions fans over “why would he take–fill in the blank–job?, to take a head coaching job if one was offered and it was a fit for him.
But he clearly thinks his best fit, at least for next season, is in Detroit as the Lions’ offensive coordinator.
Johnson stepped into a role as the Lions’ passing game coordinator in 2021, after head coach Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from then-offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. He was a no-brainer choice for a title change from tight ends coach to replace Lynn as offensive coordinator, and that happened early last offseason.
If the Lions have one of the league’s more potent offenses again next season, Johnson will be requested for head coaching interviews again. So while it’s great he has chosen to stick around, we may be right back here again a year from now–concerned about losing one of the bright young offensive minds in the league.